Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ahmedabad is a one-mall city

I just happened to visit the Gulmohar Mall. Saw quite a few branded shops closed. Enquired about the phenomenon with a service executive at one of the shops I entered.

He informed me that after the opening of Alpha One (another significantly bigger mall) footfalls have really really gone down. Saturdays and Sundays are when some crowds gather.

Some time back, I was talking to a Mississippi patron who has a retail shop at Iscon Mall. She said the same thing. Gets corroborated by the fact that a lot of shops have closed down there as well.

I have always found the air-conditioned malls unsuited in the Indian context. For Ahmedabad in particular, I have always wondered if there's a number of people that can help survive even 3 malls. It turns out, only 1 can survive. To me, even that's suspect. Let's see.

Indeed, if we debate the definition of 'mall', Ahmedabad has many which have tuition classes and offices and dental clinics and orthopedic hospitals. In that sense then malls can survive.

Add to this, the quintessential habit of finding a 'deal' makes online shopping quite attractive for people from Ahmedabad. So something like Flipkart et al offers a far bigger mall for Ahmedabadis to get hold of stuff (after checking them physically in the brick and mortar shops).

Long live the malls.